ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN Admissions

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Checklist:
  • Application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Official SAT or ACT scores
  • TOEFL
  • Interview
  • Portfolio (different requirements by major)

Deadline: Rolling admissions (except Entertainment Design)

ADMISSIONS CONTACT INFORMATION

T- 626.396.2373
School Deadline:  Fall: Rolling admissions
                          Spring: Rolling admissions
                          Summer: Rolling admissions (except Advertising & Fine Art)
Entertainment Design has a priority deadline of February 15th, Students enter Fall term only

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

  • small studio classes
  • education begins in students their chosen discipline (bypassing the typical “foundation year.”)
  • intense concentration on major, giving students the level of specialization they need to perfect their discipline and be prepared for the professional environment.
  • Integrated Studies provides an early opportunity for students to meet and work in class with a variety of other majors, allowing them to develop relationships as their careers progress while providing an understanding of how someone from a different discipline thinks and solves problems.
  • access to facilities and technology resources that include cutting-edge photo labs, film and photography stages, fabrication shops (including 3D Rapid Prototyping), letterpress and printmaking studios and an exploration laboratory emphasizing colors, materials and trends (CMTEL).

LOCATION: 

The Los Angeles region is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial environments in the world. The creative industries alone generate nearly one million jobs in the region.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION:

  •  APPLYWEB.COM/APPLY/ACCD1.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $50 for U.S. citizens and permanent alien residents or $70 for non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent alien residents is required
  • OFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS: sent directly to the Admissions Office from each issuing institution.
  • OFFICIAL SAT OR ACT SCORES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
  • ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Undergraduate applicants who have not completed a high school or bachelor’s degree in which the language of instruction was English. TOEFL minimum score of 80.
  • PORTFOLIO: The single most important aspect of your application to Art Center. Portfolios must be oriented specifically to major for which you are applying.
  • SUBMIT PORTFOLIO:  https://artcenter.slideroom.com.
  • Interview: Recommended
  • Recommendation: not required
All admissions materials should be sent to:
Admissions Office
Art Center College of Design
1700 Lida Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

PORTFOLIOS BY MAJOR

ADVERTISING

Advertising majors should demonstrate innovative thinking with words and images to promote products or ideas through ads. Work should demonstrate a fresh, original way of looking at things, possibly incorporating humor or other means by which the public’s attention is drawn to the ad. Your advertising portfolio work should be clean, clear and well presented, but spend the majority of your time coming up with interesting, sharp, original, I-never-would-have-thought-of-that ads. The quality of your thinking is more important than the finish.
If you have previous experience in advertising, submit 8 to 10 print advertising concepts. These should demonstrate your facility with both copy (words) and visuals. Include preliminary sketches demonstrating your idea-generation process. If you’ve worked in video or other media, include those as well.
If you have no previous experience in advertising, submit at least five pieces that demonstrate your ability to represent your ideas visually. In addition, we’ve created some assignments to help you demonstrate your potential for advertising. Select three or four assignments from suggestions below or submit assignments of your own devising. Create these through drawings, photography, photo-collage, digital images or any combination of these.
  1. Select one or more existing print ads and recreate them. Make them better.
  2. Create a print campaign that sells you to Art Center.
  3. Design a campaign to teach teens the importance of staying in school.
  4. Go to a hardware store and pick up 10 paint color chips. Cross out the names, and rename the colors. All the names must relate to sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT DESIGN

The task of a concept designer for the entertainment industry is to be able to provide an infinite number of design variations of characters, environments, vehicles and props for stories taking place in the past, present or future.
Your admissions portfolio should reflect this interest and provide an example of your current abilities towards this task. Include examples of your original design ideas created for a story of your invention or an existing story. Your main focus should be in the creation of original designs that are well communicated through drawings and renderings.
Examples of your range of skills in the designing of all four of the major subject topics, environments, characters, vehicles and props should be included in your portfolio. Please include both the early concept design sketches and more finished renderings of your design ideas. It is important to show your thinking process through a range of sketches and renderings that progress from rough to more finished. Emphasis should be placed more on well-drawn original design variations. Sketchbooks are a welcome addition, and can be included as one PDF.

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

Submit a minimum of three spatially or 3D-oriented projects that show solutions to a specific spatial design challenge. These should include drawings and sketches, along with photographs of models that demonstrate an understanding of 3D space, technical skills and design sensibility.
Examples of work may include interior design, furniture design, lighting design, set design and architectural design projects. Limited examples of drafting or technical drawing are acceptable, but must be accompanied by 3D representations. Applicants will be considered for their design concepts, as well as basic drawing and model-making skills.
A descriptive paragraph explaining the design concept and solution should be included with each project submitted. Quantity is not as important as quality

FILM

Submit completed film or video projects of at least five minutes total running time, but running no longer then 20 minutes. The filmed work should tell a story or present a point of view, rather than simply record a situation.
The work should demonstrate concern for photographic composition, staging, editing, sound and competent post-production. Submitted work may be a documentary, drama, comedy or several 30- to 60-second commercial spots or music videos.
Still photographs, prints and artwork are helpful additions, but do not replace the required film work. Portfolio work is only accepted via link to Vimeo by indicating your link along with your application or on NTSC DVD. These should be authored with properly working menus if there is more than one piece to view. Do not use Slideroom for submission. Care should be taken with the compression of the video and the packaging of the DVD in order to best present one’s work.
In the written statement accompanying your application, keep in mind that we are particularly interested in learning what inspired you to make films, what sorts of films you want to make, and a brief description of your favorite filmmakers.

FINE ART

Include a representative selection of your work in any media. In addition to submitting examples of foundation skills that demonstrate particular abilities, it is important to also present personal work that reveals experimentation.
Work can include all forms of drawing, representational and nonobjective painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, film, video and installation documentation. Conceptual work and artist statements are also welcome, include your statement as part of the application. You can also include 10 to 15 of the best pages from your sketchbook as one PDF.
Applicants seeking to major in Fine Art with a minor in Photography and Imaging should also submit at least eight photographs. Students seeking the Illustration minor should include figure drawing from a live model.
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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Include layouts or comprehensives for projects such as posters, brochures, editorial design, package design, motion graphics, Web design and identity systems. Pieces that exhibit a grasp of an issue, an individual point of view, or a unique approach to a problem are helpful. Evidence of an understanding of—and a passion for—typography is a must.
Provide process work that shows the development of the chosen idea and various solutions. Samples of logotypes, lettering, life drawing and general color and design assignments should be included. A combination of finished pieces and sketches is desirable. If submitted work has been produced, provide an explanation of the role played in the creation of the work (overall design, production only, etc.).

ILLUSTRATION

Submit 10 to 15 figure drawings from a live model that include both gestural and more developed pieces. Other observational drawings from life are also required such as self-portraits or portraits of others, sketches of animals and scenes from nature and cityscapes. Include imaginative drawings that demonstrate your passion for and understanding of illustration in both color and black and white.
Submit three or more pieces that highlight drawing or painting skills, and show the development of a story or concept. Sketchbooks that display a range of interests and skills are welcome and we recommend a limit of 10 to 15 sketchbook pages submitted as one PDF.

INTERACTION DESIGN

Interaction Design is the study and craft of how people interact with products, systems and services. Submissions, therefore, should demonstrate a keen interest in user experience, along with your personal creativity and vision.
Equal parts thinker and maker, Interaction Design candidates should provide the following:
  • Examples of interactive work that you have made or in which you were involved. Work can be screen-based or physical. (Examples may include: mobile or social applications, web sites, gestural interfaces, games, consumer electronics, smart products, art, tangible or environmental projects). Include a statement about your role in the design and production and any URLs, working versions, videos, or multiple images of your interactive projects that show how they work.
  • Include process work showing how you develop and visualize concepts. Include relevant sketches, prototypes, wireframes, research, and comps. Emphasis in process work should be placed on innovative interactivity, user-centered design, familiarity with technology and conceptual thinking on and off the screen. Each project should be grouped as a single PDF. Sketchbook examples should be scanned and included as a separate PDF. If you include working interactive projects, be sure they work on both Mac and PC.
  • Feel free to include one or more examples of design work from a related field of interest such as graphic design, industrial or environmental design. Include any other work such as drawing and painting, video, or photography that will help us understand your personal interests and direction.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND IMAGING

Submit a minimum of 25 black-and-white, color or digital images. Any combination of these is acceptable, but submitting only black-and-white work is discouraged. Include related contact sheets when applicable.
The works should reflect a connection between idea and technique and display the applicant’s strengths in implementing an original vision.
A variety of subjects and concept exploration are encouraged, but should include shots of people as subject matter. The work should show an ability to create original imagery.
Wayfinding
ad

PRODUCT DESIGN

Submit sketches and finished drawings of three or more original product designs (furniture, lighting, medical and computer equipment, or consumer products such as coffee makers, sporting goods, communications devices or personal stereos). Each project should be grouped as a separate PDF.
Emphasis should be on the function of the product, as well as the aesthetics and originality of the design. Projects should show a thorough researching and exploration of a product from beginning through intermediate sketches to a final finished rendering of the product.
Inclusion of photos of 3D models is optional. Of primary importance are exploratory sketches that show a variety of solutions and ideas for each product presented. Sketchbook pages should be scanned and grouped in a single PDF.
 

TRANSPORTATION DESIGN

Portfolio submissions should demonstrate a passion for and curiosity about the future of transportation, including cars, trucks, public transportation, boats, motorcycles or alternative mobility. Submit drawings and sketches of your original design concepts, signed and dated. These should represent a variety of types of vehicles with a minimum of four or five projects. Inclusion of designs for non-vehicular products is encouraged as well. Drawing skills should be displayed as the primary means for communication of ideas.
Submit ideas in proper format: title and goal of project, research, audience, preliminary and final sketches.
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